BBC restructures pay processes for presenters

The BBC is restructuring how it pays some employees.

The broadcaster has applied a new employment test to all staff, including its well-known presenters, that it has previously employed as freelancers.

Where individuals were hired on a freelance basis, they were paid through personal service companies, which can enable high earners to pay 20% to 23% in corporation tax on some of their income instead of the 45% top rate of income tax. There is no suggestion these individuals have behaved inappropriately

However, as freelance contracts come up for renewal, the BBC will assess if individuals should be reclassified as employees on a case-by-case basis.

If this is deemed to be the case, the BBC will move its freelancers onto payroll where they will agree to become employees in line with statutory minimum legal conditions. Although this could mean some will face a pay cut of up to 25%, they will also become eligible to receive benefits which are paid through payroll such as contributions to the BBC’s pension scheme and holiday pay.

A BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC has been applying a new employment test to all on-air television presenters on, or for, new engagements.

“If the result of that test shows employment, presenters have been offered on-air talent employment contracts. There is no truth in claims that television presenters are refusing to move to staff roles.”